“We were sailing into the floorball playoffs when our star player sprained his ankle, and then BOOM, we were eliminated in the first round”. Sound familiar? If you’ve been around the sports/floorball world for any length of time, you have seen it happen, probably more than once. What can you do to prevent this, and how can you overcome this when it does happen to your floorball team?
First off all, conditioning and well prepared players, that’s what it’s about. If you want to prevent most of your floorball player’s injuries, then make sure that they are well conditioned, good pre-season practicing. Devote most of your early season to get your floorball players in good physical shape. Figure out your players during the early part of the pre-season. Do not just assign the entire floorball team to run x-number of laps or km/miles and then attend to other things while they run. Make sure that out of condition floorball players, work gradually themselves up to game shape. Assign well conditioned players even more work to improve their fitness to an even greater level.
Never ever scrimp on warm-up time (can and should be done before the floorball practice, in my eyes!) Make sure that late arriving players go through a full warm-up period before allowing them to join in the activities. Many floorball players are injured each year when they get to floorball practice late and then jump right into high stress movements. Do not injure your players with over-enthusiasm.
If you assume that the floorball teams on certain level practice the same amount of practices each week, lets say four times, and you want to outcompete your opponents, you can choose to increase the amount of floorball practices or work on improving the quality of your floorball practices and drills, in order to “run away” from the other teams.
Let’s have an theoretical example, 4 (floorball practices) x 31 (weeks, length of the season) = 124 floorball practices during a season. Each practice contains 5 floorball drills, 5 X 124= 620 drills. Each floorball drill is repeated 5 times per player during the floorball practice, 5 X 620=3100 repetitions.
Instead of increasing the amount of floorball practices you could set up a goal that each player will run 3 meters extra every floorball drill, this would mean 3100 drills X 3 meters X 20 players = 186000 meters. Your team would with this small improvement run 186 kilometers extra during the floorball season, the result should be visible in the end of the games or at the end of the season, you would have physically and psychologically strong floorball players, they will take the extra steps needed for success. Instead of running, you could let your floorball players practice a feint while waiting. 10000 repetitions will automatize the move, 10000 hours will make you master of it!
The power of small steps
You can of course use the same principle for improvements in general or your work towards common goals. Let’s say you can do 3 small improvement steps each day, after a month you have 90 small improvement steps and after 6 months 540. If you can make each floorball player in your team to take these small improvement steps you will have 540 X 20 players = 10800 small improvements in your floorball team.
This is a combined floorball practice drill, where P1 starts from the border and takes a shot, after that he/she works with defense, running backwards in middle and finally checks / steers the imagined breakout towards the other border. This pattern can be used if you are playing with 2-2-1 or for example 1-3-1 set up.
Floorball warm up practice up to the left (a), change it to a 1 vs 1 drill
Make the floorball drill to 1 on 1 practice by using P1 as passive defensive player against P2. P1 will only mark his/her presence and let P2 pass to make a shot.
The floorball drill is started by P1 running in from the border, he/she takes a shot, after the shot, there is an imagined break-out for the opponent, therefore P1 runs backwards in the middle. Then he/she forechecks (imagined players / break out) and wins the ball in the corner. P1 picks up a new ball in the corner. P2 runs down and receives a short pass by the border and takes a shot from the angle. P2 repeats the same patterna as P1 has done towards the other corner.
Floorball warm up practice down to the left (b) add a pass
The floorball practice can also be performed like above, but when P1 forechecks towards the corner, P1 receives a pass from P2 instead of picking up a new ball in the corner.
Floorball warm up practice down to the left (b), make it 1 vs 1
You could also run this floorball drill as a one on one drill. Remove the pass in the corner and make the P1 play defense against P2 in the second sequence. Then P1 can do the running also facing the opposite goal (up – down to the corner – up to meet the offensive player)
2-1 Floorball warm up practice down to the left (b)
To change and develop the floorball drill further into a 2-1 situation, you can start with two players where P1 starts, the player following P1 goes for the rebound and picks up the new ball, which he/she will lose after the forecheck from P1 after that he/she will play 1-2 against P1 and P2.
A simple 2 vs 0 floorball practice for young / youth players (children).
The floorball practice to the left starts in a 1 vs 1 situation. Coach makes a short pass, which also is the start signal for the players. The players will compete to the ball and the player reaching it first, passes it back to the coach.
After that both players continue to the other side and go 2-0 towards the goalie. One of the players pick up the ball and run with it towards the short end, the other player without the ball runs towards the goal. The player with ball passes the ball to the player in front of the goalie, who shoots.
Floorball drill to the right
The floorball drill to the right is performed the same way as in the example to the left, except the coach passes the ball back to the players and they go 2-0 against the goalie.
Make the youth floorball drill 1-1 or 2-1
Both floorball practices can be changed into a 1 vs 1 floorball drill. Instead of passing each other, one of the players is attacking and the other one is defending.
You can also change the drill into a 2 vs 1 floorball practice by adding a defensive player that follows the first two players in the first sequence and is the defensemen in the last part of the drill.
Add more passes or change positions
Now the floorball drill is in a very simple and basic format, but you can also add more passes to the drill or make the players change positions when going towards the goal.
Breakouts in floorball tend sometimes to be a bit static, at least in my “hockey” eyes. Three players are passing the ball to each other in a triangle near own goal and after a while a long pass on chance towards the two top forwards. This is visualized in the floorball game picture below. The opposite team is just passive and can easily keep a correct positioning.
Do you recognize the set up? Do you agree?
Floorball breakout option with more movement involved
What if… we start to be more active, move a little bit more and force the opposite team to do the same…
D1 passes the ball to D2. D2 starts to move towards the border, D1 moves into the position of D2, D2 passes the ball to D1 in centre and continues the running towards the border. P1 runs into the centre and either the opposite teams offensive player will follow him to the middle and we have a free space for a pass to D1 (pass B). If the opposite player decides not follow P1, P1 will be free in the middle (pass A). The two top forwards will switch positions and create confusion for the defensemen on how to act.
The next passing options will be:
If A then A1 or A2 (or D1 at border, not visualized in the drawing).
If B then B1 or B2.